Ambient fans will of course be aware of The Gatherings, the ambient concert series hosted by Chuck van Zyl of Star's End radio, which have become one of the preeminent venues for live ambient music in the world. On March 10, 2001, Kit Watkins performed two stunning live sets at The Gathering, a live performance that has gone down in the books as one of the legendary ambient concerts of all time.
In 2001, Kit released the recordings of his performance as two beautiful CDs, which are now available from Earth Mantra under the Creative Commons license. This particular release presents Kit's first set in its entirety.
One critic summed these releases up nicely: "Recorded live at the 25th annual event of the same name in March of 2001, this collection of twelve solo pieces performed by Watkins showcases the man’s mastery of electronic music, and his in-depth knowledge of musical form. Each piece on the entire two CD set is a solid, self-contained work; a complete statement on and of its own."
At the risk of being accused of hyperbole, our opinion is that the only thing that could possibly be better than these two releases would have been to be there for the live performance itself. Kit Watkins is justifiably loved the world over for his musical talent and ability to express himself through his compositions, but these two singular releases contain some of the strongest individual ambient recordings ever made, whether live or in the studio. The words "classic" and "essential" come to mind, and for once are completely accurate in their use. These two releases truly are essential, and in our opinion represent the pinnacle of live ambient music by any artist.
As always, all Earth Mantra releases are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. For commercial use, please contact us.
Music written and performed by Kit Watkins during The Gathering on March 10, 2001. Hosted by Chuck van Zyl, Star's End radio.
Performed at St. Mary's Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Recorded by Art Cohen and Roger Venezia. Audience recording by Steve Miller. Mastered by Kit Watkins.
Equipment: John Tlusty
Sound: Art Cohen
Lighting: Jeff Towne
Support: Bill Helsel
CD artwork and design by Kit Watkins. Photography by Bill Forcier.
Originally released in 2001. Re-released under Creative Commons on Earth Mantra in August 2008.
Please visit Kit Watkins on the net at www.kitwatkins.com, The Gatherings at www.thegatherings.org, and Star's End at www.starsend.org.
Released under the "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0" license, which allows and encourages free use of this material so long as certain conditions are met. Details of this license can be found at:
earman045 - Kit Watkins - The Gathering Set 1
1:06:51 - 130 MB
01 - Introduction ~ Chuck van Zyl (2:33, 4.8 MB)
02 - Morning Mothra (8:39, 16.2 MB)
03 - The Aftermath of Neglect (12:02, 22.5 MB)
04 - Melrose Cavern (7:03, 13.2 MB)
05 - The Upper Regions of Space (19:18, 36.2 MB)
06 - Tone 10 (8:34, 16.0 MB)
07 - Nairam (8:42, 16.3 MB)